July 13: What Is Wrong With The World?

The London Times newspaper once launched what they thought would be an “occasional series.” They asked a number of prominent authors to write on the topic: “What is wrong with the world?” The editors of the newspaper were expecting answers like, “the world is too greedy,” “the world is too cruel,” or “the world is too corrupt.” The shortest answer of all those submitted was: Dear Sirs, “I am.” Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton.

Chesterton was one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the 20th century and a convert to Catholicism. His point was that no one needs to tell us that there is a long list of big and small problems everybody would like to solve, but unfortunately nobody does. More to the point, no one needs to tell us we live in a world where greed, cruelty, and corruption are rampant, but so few even get started in confronting them. How can we become less greedy, less cruel, less corrupt? So many of us look at the times we live in and we want to blame everybody but ourselves. What is wrong with the world? How hard it is to say, like Chesterton, “I am!”

The old expression “charity begins at home” is a little too expansive; charity actually begins in our hearts, deep in the recesses of our souls. Do you want to make a positive difference this week? Start there!

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